If you’re mentally beating yourself up because you’ve broken your resolutions just a few days into the new year, you’re not alone. According to U.S. News and World Report, the failure rate of New Year’s resolutions is 80% by mid-February.
What’s to be done when you’ve busted your resolutions but you still want to make changes? Here are some tips.
Consider a Monday reset
Instead of looking at your resolutions as a sweeping year-long project, what if you concentrated on making healthy changes every Monday? That way, if you slip up and dive into the cookies in the break room at work, another chance to get it right is just a few days away.
It’s called the Healthy Monday Reset, and the idea is to send you into the week with a fresh mindset.
“What we really want people to do is implement a mindset change. If you think about the New Year’s resolution, you pick one day a year to start changes, and if you fall off the wagon, it’s another year,” explained Ron Hernandez, the managing director of The Monday Campaigns.
“But with Monday, you have 52 opportunities in a year. If you fall short one week, there’s always an opportunity right around the corner, so you don’t have to wait that long to make a change,” he said.
This, Hernandez added, is something you can really integrate: “Monday, I will make better choices.”
A study conducted with Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that people often describe Monday as the day they are seeking out health information.
“Monday becomes a cue, and if you start off the week well, you’re more likely to keep going through the rest of the week,” he said.
Maybe your resolutions are too complicated
Sanford Sports dietitians have three simple suggestions for athletes and anyone looking for a healthy start to the new year. They focus on:
- Prioritizing hydration. This might seem too easy, but many people (athletes included) fail to drink enough water.
- Getting enough sleep. Sleep is the time when your body works on recovery. It can also affect your hunger signals so poor sleep habits can lead to weight gain.
- Developing healthy eating strategies. Emphasize breakfast, healthy snacks, and added fruits and vegetables.
Are you stuck in a routine?
Sanford Health dietitian Tiffany Krogstad understands the feeling of getting into a diet rut.
What do you know about dieting? Take our diet quiz
“Changing your lifestyle is really hard,” she said. “I try to help patients work through their own barriers — maybe it’s late-night snacking, sugar cravings or skipping meals. We talk about it and try to come up with individual solutions.”
Krogstad said a heart-healthy diet isn’t about following a low-fat menu. “Instead, it highlights a variety of vegetables and fruits, lean protein, healthy fats, whole grains and dairy products with minimal sugar,” she said.
Related content: Weeknight meal updates
Get your kids involved: They need exercise, too
Kids can be powerful motivators, and they can develop healthy lifestyles right along with you. Sarah Paur, a Sanford Health pediatric nurse practitioner, offers these suggestions for getting started:
- Be active with them! Be the example.
- Evaluate their current activity and gradually increase in minutes per day over time.
- Limit screen time and set boundaries for sedentary lifestyles.
- Encourage them to try group activities to find something they enjoy, such as soccer, dance, track, gymnastics or swimming.
- Consider individualized activities like hiking, skiing or running.
“Simply playing in the park or outside with friends is also a great way to fit in exercise for the day,” Paur said.
Learn more: Read Paur’s outlook on childhood exercise
Consult with a specialist
- Find a Sanford nutritionist or dietitian near you
- Maximize your performance with Sanford POWER
- Consider weight loss and health coaching from Profile